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Metals Explorer Strikes Copper in Maiden Drill

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Sometimes, you just get lucky. Gladiator Metals Corp. is enjoying promising results from its first drill program at its Cowley Park project.

Gladiator Metals Corp. (GLAD:TSX), formerly Cairo Resources Inc., is a Canada-based exploration company focused on acquiring, developing, and operating mineral properties. The firm's most notable holding is the Koonenberry North Project in New South WalesAustralia.

The company holds 100% legal and beneficial interest in three exploration license applications (ELAs) in the province. ELA 6056, ELA 6058, and ELA 6059 cover an area of 680 square kilometers in various sections of the mineralized Koonenberry Fault and associated secondary faults and splays.

In addition, the company is focused on advancing multiple high-grade copper prospects at its Whitehorse copper project, an advanced-stage copper, molybdenum, silver, and gold skarn exploration project in YukonCanada. This project comprises 314 contiguous claims covering approximately 5,380 hectares of the Whitehorse mining district.

The Whitehorse project has near-year-round access for work programs, including an established road and drill access network, lower capital infrastructure requirements due to the project's proximity to the city of Whitehorse, and a strong partnership with an experienced local drilling service provider.

The Catalyst: Copper, Molybdenum Intersects at Cowley Park

On June 6, Gladiator Metals announced that initial drilling in the Cowley Park section of its Whitehorse project had turned up notable copper deposits. The company has completed a 2,632-meter maiden diamond drilling program and received initial assay results from the first seven of 14 holes.

As Expert Market Research reports, "Molybdenum is a silvery-white element that is ductile and highly resistant to corrosion. It is a transition metal that is recovered as a by-product of tungsten and copper mining. It is used in the production of alloys to increase their hardness, electrical conductivity, resistance, and strength."

According to the company's announcement, all holes returned significant intercepts confirming the width and continuity of mineralization previously targeted at Cowley Park, with mineralization remaining open in all directions. The assay reports concentrations of up to 2.36% copper and 0.15% molybdenum.

When analyzed as an array, the structured results confirm the continuity of copper skarn mineralization at Cowley Park and highlight the potential for a larger mineralized envelope not previously considered or tested by prior operators.

With these strong results, Gladiator Metals plans to complete a further 2,000 meters of diamond drilling. This new program will aim to test strike and depth extensions to mineralization, providing the firm with a better understanding of the identified parts of the mineralized system untouched by historical drilling.

Gladiator Metals CEO Jason Bontempo says, "These results highlight the rapid progress Gladiator has made in the first three months since acquiring the rights to the Whitehorse copper project and is a testament to the team's hard work on the ground."

"Results from Gladiator's sampling continue to define the continuity and scale of copper mineralization at Cowley Park as well as providing further definition to the potentially significant coincident molybdenum mineralization."

Why This Sector? More than Just Copper

While it's widely known that copper plays a leading role in the nascent green economy, far fewer people know molybdenum and the wide array of industrial uses for the silver metal that aren't going away anytime soon.

As Expert Market Research reports, "Molybdenum is a silvery-white element that is ductile and highly resistant to corrosion. It is a transition metal that is recovered as a by-product of tungsten and copper mining. It is used in the production of alloys to increase their hardness, electrical conductivity, resistance, and strength."

"Molybdenum is used as a catalyst in the petroleum industry to help remove sulfur from natural gas and refined petroleum products, which is propelling the market growth. As molybdenum has a very high melting point, it is used in the production of moly steel alloys that are used in various engines, hence aiding the industry's growth. Moreover, it is also used along with cast iron to reduce carbon emission and produce cylinder heads, motor, and exhaust manifolds, which is consequently providing further impetus to the market growth." 

On May 16, after Gladiator Metals' last assay announcement, 321Gold was ebullient, reporting, "At today's depressed price for copper, that is still an intercept worth US$443 per tonne. That's like having an eight-gram gold intercept. It's outstanding. At today's price, the company is only worth CA$19.7 million. That's absurdly cheap."

"The corrosion resistance property of molybdenum makes it suitable for application in the construction of buildings that are located in harsh environments. Moreover, the governments of developing economies, such as India and China, are investing significantly in the construction of roads, trains, power plants, and water systems, which is increasing the demand for energy production."

"In addition, robust demand for steel alloys in China and India owing to mass urbanization and the escalating construction of residential and commercial spaces is expected to aid the market growth for molybdenum. Further, the sustainable property of stainless steel allows for its use in the development of green cities and buildings, which is expected to invigorate the market growth."

Expert Market Research projected that the global molybdenum market will "grow at a CAGR of 4% between 2021 and 2026." Future Market Insights forecasts similar growth: "The molybdenum market size is projected to be valued at US$316.0 billion in 2023 and is expected to rise to US$500 billion by 2023. The sales of molybdenum are expected to grow at a significant CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period [2023-2033]."

Gladiator Metals is exposed to both copper and molybdenum markets, as well as potentially gold and silver markets, so in that sense, it provides metals investors with a wider foothold across multiple expanding markets.

Why This Company? Proven Multi-Metal Reserves that Keep Expanding

"The broad widths of mineralization surrounding the higher-grade intervals were not typically assayed by previous operators, and Gladiator believes that these have significant potential," CEO Bontempo continues.

"The recent drilling has also identified significant widths and grades of copper mineralization within the endoskarn, which was not previously targeted by previous operators."

The recent assay results also highlight significant zones of molybdenum mineralization coincident with copper mineralization. Significant intervals from recently completed drilling include:

  • CPG-002: 13 m at 1.44% Cu and 0.15% Mo from 28 m;
  • CPG-003: 5 m at 1.23% Cu and 0.11% Mo from 9 m.

These results are supported by recently announced results from Gladiator Metals' multielement sampling program of the previously un-assayed core at Cowley Park, with results including:

  • 19-CP-01: 10.54 m at 1.87% Cu, 0.16% Mo;
  • 19-CP-01: 19.81 m at 1.19% Cu, 0.13% Mo;
  • 19-CP-05: 27 m at 0.68% Cu, 0.23% Mo from 97 m.

Molybdenum was not systematically assayed in the historical drilling, and the firm intends to add co-product value to the project by including this and other potential contributing elements, including silver and gold.

Why Now? Drilling is Just Beginning

Gladiator Metals' anticipated exploration program at the Whitehorse copper project for the remainder of 2023 involves:

  1. A further 2,000-meter drilling project.
  2. Logging and assaying approximately 10,000 meters of unassayed core from exploration drilling at Cowley Park and other prospect areas, including North Star, Grafters, and Verona.
  3. Assaying for molybdenum, gold, silver, and other elements which were not historically systematically assayed for.
  4. Systematic consolidation of the historic drilling and mining activity, the first time a comprehensive review of regional datasets has been undertaken since the last mining activity in the region ceased in 1982. Gladiator, to date, has identified over 800 historical surface drill holes drilled by Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting Co Ltd., Yankee Hat Minerals Ltd., Lobo Del Norte Ltd., and the vendor H.Coyne & Sons Ltd., which were logged and selectively assayed. As compilation and digitization are completed, the company will release the results of this historical drilling by prospect area along the Whitehorse copper belt.

Work completed to date has identified more than 30 drill-ready, high-grade regional targets associated with copper-rich skarns at the contact between the Cretaceous-age Whitehorse plutonic suite and the Triassic to Jurassic Lewes River group's clastic and carbonate metasediments.

The upshot of all this news is that analysts are pleased. On May 16, after Gladiator Metals' last assay announcement, 321Gold was ebullient, reporting, "At today's depressed price for copper, that is still an intercept worth US$443 per tonne. That's like having an eight-gram gold intercept. It's outstanding."

"At today's price, the company is only worth CA$19.7 million. That's absurdly cheap.

Copper is in acute shortage. The Whitehorse Copper Belt is in one of the best jurisdictions in the world. It sits right next to a major city in the Yukon and a transportation hub. One of the foremost First Nation families is a partner on the project and has done years of drilling in the belt. They have invested their money into Gladiator and are doing the drilling." 

"If someone hands you 10,000 meters of free drilling, that is like handing you US$3 million in US$100 bills. It's free money. Look for assay results to come out on a regular basis. They will continue to be spectacular, I suspect."

Streetwise Ownership Overview*

Gladiator Metals Corp. (GLAD:TSX)

*Share Structure as of 6/23/2023

Ownership and Share Structure

According to Reuters, 8.49% of Gladiator Metal's stock is held by management and insiders. Director Darren Devine has 3.74%, with 1.09 million shares. Director Shawn Khunkhun has 2.07%, with 0.60 million. CEO and Director Jason Bontempo has 1.57%, with 0.46 million. Director Ian Harris has 0.77%, with 0.22 million, and CFO and Corporate Secretary Matthew Roma has 0.34%, with 0.10 million.

The rest is held by retail investors. 

As of May 31, Gladiator Metals had a market cap of US$20 million with 29,049,482 common shares outstanding. It has issued a further 6,749,917 warrants and 1,950,000 stock options for a fully-diluted base of 37,749,399 shares.

The warrants are split into two tranches, with 4,144,992 at US$0.40 expiring Oct 8, 2023, and another 2,631,425 at US$0.55 expiring Sept 14, 2024.

The options are also split into two tranches, with 1,050,000 at US$0.28 expiring Oct 8, 2026, and 900,000 at US$0.35 expiring Feb 27, 2028.

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Important Disclosures:

  1.  As of the date of this article, officers and/or employees of Streetwise Reports LLC (including members of their household) own securities of Gladiator Metals Corp.
  2. Owen Ferguson wrote this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise Reports as an independent contractor.
  3. The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility. By opening this page, each reader accepts and agrees to Streetwise Reports' terms of use and full legal disclaimer. This article is not a solicitation for investment. Streetwise Reports does not render general or specific investment advice and the information on Streetwise Reports should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Streetwise Reports does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company mentioned on Streetwise Reports.

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